A Good Book Lasts A Lifetime

My coping mechanism and self-care habit in the time of Covid-19

Like so many of us, my love of books began in my youth. Books transported me to other worlds and other times filling my young mind and imagination with the beauty of the written word. As an adult, I read for knowledge, enjoyment, and my own self-care.

During this time of Covid-19 and stay-at-home orders, opening a well-loved novel can be like visiting that old friend who you have not seen in years but has the uncanny knack of picking up right where you left off last. A very comforting feeling.

Comfort and safety seem to be two essential qualities in a time when our nervous systems are overloaded with fraught, doomsday news and our everyday world is turned upside down. When my anxiety level begins to climb, I find it helpful to switch off the screen and bury my nose in a book instead. Ever since I was a young girl my coping mechanism has been to escape into the world of words.

A Wee Bit of Ireland in Bellingham

Ever desired to learn how to play a penny whistle? Do you enjoy tapping your toes to a reel and a jig? Or maybe diving into the lore of Ireland through storytelling suits your fancy? All of these, plus more, can be found each October at a unique festival in Bellingham, Washington, celebrating traditional Irish culture through its music, dance, language and overall appreciation of the arts.

Bellingham Irish Festival photo by Michael Lusk.
Bellingham Irish Festival photo by Michael Lusk

For three days in early October, the downtown corridor of Bellingham, WA bursts at its seams with everything Irish, but this is not St Patrick’s Day, it’s the annual Bellingham Irish Festival.

Adventures at the Wooden Boat Festival

We had been anticipating this day for weeks! On this Sunday, the second weekend in September, we found ourselves on our way to the 43rd annual Wooden Boat Festival, held in Port Townsend, WA. This event is sponsored by the NW Maritime Center and as avid sailing enthusiasts, we joined the other lovers of the sea for a day celebrating water and wood and sailing.

Rowboats at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival. Photo by Richard Schmitz
Rowboats at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival. Photo by Richard Schmitz

The festival features more than 250 wooden vessels many of which are handcrafted as well as indoor and outdoor presentations, demonstrations, and of course other mavens of the water, like us. There are small boat makers on one side of the center grounds, boat building contests on the other. There is music, food and craft vendors contributing to the cultural bounty of the day and always the smell of the sea on the breeze. Everything from building your own kayak to building a sailboat can be found at this little festival, come rain or shine, so bring your wellies and a raincoat and maybe pack some sunscreen for that intermittent showing of the sun between clouds.